anarchy works

(2010) by peter gelderloos @PeterGelderloos [Writing and fighting for a world without prisons, borders, clearcuts, or strip mines, a world of care, imagination, and mutual aid] via 159 page kindle version from anarchist library

on the about page [] of his stack:

More than anything, I want to contribute to the conversation on how we get free and not obliterate ourselves trying.

yeah .. that.. huge .. (short findings restate)


No more talk about the old days, it’s time for something great.
I want you to get out and make it w
Thom Yorke.. t


There are hidden stories all around us,
growing in abandoned villages in the mountains
or vacant lots in the city,
petrifying beneath our feet in the remains
of societies like nothing we’ve known,
whispering to us that things could be different.
But the politician you know is lying to you,
the manager who hires and fires you,
the landlord who evicts you,
the president of the bank that owns your house,
the professor who grades your papers,
the cop who rolls your street,
the reporter who informs you,
the doctor who medicates you,
the husband who beats you,
the mother who spanks you,
the soldier who kills for you,
and the social worker who fits your past and future into a folder in a filing cabinet
all ask
It would be anarchy.”

this is ridiculous ness.. and carhart-harris entropy law et al


And the daughter who runs away from home,
the bus driver on the picket line,
the veteran who threw back his medal but holds on to his rifle,
the boy saved from suicide by the love of his friends,
the maid who must bow to those who can’t even cook for themselves,
the immigrant hiking across a desert to find her family on the other side,
the kid on his way to prison because he burned down a shopping mall they were building over his childhood dreams,
the neighbor who cleans up the syringes from the vacant lot, hoping someone will turn it into a garden,
the hitchhiker on the open road,
the college dropout who gave up on career and health insurance and sometimes even food so he could write revolutionary poetry for the world,
maybe all of us can feel it:
our bosses and tormentors are afraid of what they would do without us,
and their threat is a promise —
the best parts of our lives are anarchy already.



Anarchism is the boldest of revolutionary social movements to emerge from the struggle against capitalism — it aims for a world free from all forms of domination and exploitation. But at its heart is a simple and convincing proposition: people know how to live their own lives and organize themselves better than any expert could..t Others cynically claim that people do not know what is in their best interests, that they need a government to protect them, that the ascension of some political party could somehow secure the interests of all members of society. Anarchists counter that decision-making should not be centralized in the hands of any government, but instead power should be decentralized: that is to say, each person should be the center of society, and all should be free to build the networks and associations they need to meet their needs in common with others.

let’s do this first

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be

The education we receive in state-run schools teaches us to doubt our ability to organize ourselves. This leads many to conclude anarchy is impractical and utopian: it would never work. On the contrary, anarchist practice already has a long record, and has often worked quite well. The official history books tell a selective story, glossing over the fact that all the components of an anarchist society have existed at various times, and innumerable stateless societies have thrived for millennia.

How would an anarchist society compare to statist and capitalist societies? It is apparent that hierarchical societies work well according to certain criteria. They tend to be extremely effective at conquering their neighbors and securing vast fortunes for their rulers. On the other hand, as climate change, food and water shortages, market instability, and other global crises intensify, hierarchical models are not proving to be particularly sustainable. The histories in this book show that an anarchist society can do much better at enabling all its members to meet their needs and desires.

what we need is a means to org around legit needs

The many stories, past and present, that demonstrate how anarchy works have been suppressed and distorted because of the revolutionary conclusions we might draw from them. We can live in a society with no bosses, masters, politicians, or bureaucrats; a society with no judges, no police, and no criminals, no rich or poor; a society free of sexism, homophobia, and transphobia; a society in which the wounds from centuries of enslavement, colonialism, and genocide are finally allowed to heal. The only things stopping us are the prisons, programming, and paychecks of the powerful, as well as our own lack of faith in ourselves.

Of course, anarchists do not have to be practical to a fault. If we ever win the freedom to run our own lives, we’ll probably come up with entirely new approaches to organization that improve on these tried and true forms. So let these stories be a starting point, and a challenge.

we have no idea what legit free people are like.. only what whales in sea world are like.. so our stories/visions/orgs are all whalespeak perpetuating same song ness


What exactly is anarchism?

Volumes have been written in answer to this question, and millions of people have dedicated their lives to creating, expanding, defining, and fighting for anarchy. There are countless paths to anarchism and countless beginnings: workers in 19th century Europe fighting against capitalism and believing in themselves instead of the ideologies of authoritarian political parties; indigenous peoples fighting colonization and reclaiming their traditional, horizontal cultures; *high school students waking up to the depth of their alienation and unhappiness; mystics from China one thousand years ago or from Europe five hundred years ago, Daoists or Anabaptists, fighting against government and organized religion; women rebelling against the authoritarianism and sexism of the Left. There is no Central Committee giving out membership cards, and no standard doctrine. Anarchy means different things to different people. However, here are some basic principles most anarchists agree on.


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b legit free people

Autonomy and Horizontality: All people deserve the freedom to define and organize themselves on their own terms. Decision-making structures should be horizontal rather than vertical, so no one dominates anyone else; they should foster power to act freely rather than power over others. Anarchism opposes all coercive hierarchies, including capitalism, the state, white supremacy, and patriarchy.

rather.. curiosity over decision making..

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people

Mutual Aid: People should help one another voluntarily; bonds of solidarity and generosity form a stronger social glue than the fear inspired by laws, borders, prisons, and armies. Mutual aid is neither a form of charity nor of zero-sum exchange; both giver and receiver are equal and interchangeable. Since neither holds power over the other, they increase their collective power by creating opportunities to work together.

again.. imagine if we ness.. but no need to even pay attention to any of this aid ness if legit undisturbed ecosystem

Voluntary Association: People should be free to cooperate with whomever they want, however they see fit; likewise, they should be free to refuse any relationship or arrangement they do not judge to be in their interest. Everyone should be able to move freely, both physically and socially. Anarchists oppose borders of all kinds and involuntary categorization by citizenship, gender, or race.

as infra ness.. imagine if we ness.. rather than any form of voluntary compliance

Direct Action: It is more empowering and effective to accomplish goals directly than to rely on authorities or representatives. Free people do not request the changes they want to see in the world; they make those changes.

as if already free ness is part\ial ness.. for (blank)’s sake

Revolution: Today’s entrenched systems of repression cannot be reformed away. Those who hold power in a hierarchical system are the ones who institute reforms, and they generally do so in ways that preserve or even amplify their power. Systems like capitalism and white supremacy are forms of warfare waged by elites; anarchist revolution means fighting to overthrow these elites in order to create a free society.

we need to let go of fighting ness.. ie: gershenfeld something else law.. and org around legit needs (aka: 2 things every soul already craves)

Self-Liberation: “The liberation of the workers is the duty of the workers themselves,” as the old slogan goes. This applies to other groups as well: people must be at the forefront of their own liberation. Freedom cannot be given; it must be taken.

but has to be all of us for the dance to dance..


A note on inspiration

It is presumptuous to assign the label “anarchist” to people who have not chosen it;

The examples in this book have been selected from a wide range of times and places — about ninety altogether. Thirty are explicitly anarchist; the rest are all stateless, autonomous, or consciously anti-authoritarian.

It will become apparent throughout this book that anarchy exists in conflict with the state and capitalism. Many of the examples given here were ultimately crushed by police or conquering armies, and it is in large part due to this systematic repression of alternatives that there have not been more examples of anarchy working. This bloody history implies that, to be thoroughgoing and successful, an anarchist revolution would have to be global. Capitalism is a global system, constantly expanding and colonizing every autonomous society it encounters. In the long run, no one community or country can remain anarchist while the rest of the world is capitalist.

huge.. again.. has to be all of us for the dance to dance..

need a legit global re\set

The examples in this book show anarchy working for a period of time, or succeeding in a specific way. *Until capitalism is abolished, all such examples will necessarily be partial. These examples are instructive in their weaknesses as well as their strengths. In addition to providing a picture of people creating communities and meeting their needs without bosses, they raise the question of **what went wrong and how we could do better next time.

*and part\ial ness is killing us.. for (blank)’s sake

**any form of m\a\p will eventually kill us


To this end, here are some recurring themes that may be beneficial to reflect on in the course of reading this book:

Isolation: Many anarchist projects work quite well, but only make an impact in the lives of a tiny number of people. What engenders this isolation? What tends to contribute to it, and what can offset it?.. t

has to be all of us for the dance to dance..

humanity needs a leap.. to get back/to simultaneous spontaneity  .. simultaneous  fittingness.. everyone in sync..

Alliances: In a number of examples, anarchists and other anti-authoritarians were betrayed by supposed allies who sabotaged the possibility of liberation in order to gain power for themselves. Why did anarchists choose these alliances, and what can we learn about what kind of alliances to make today?

today we have means to leap.. so can let go of alliance ing ness

Repression: Autonomous communities and revolutionary activities have been stopped cold by police repression or military invasion time after time. People are intimidated, arrested, tortured, and killed, and the survivors must go into hiding or drop out of the struggle; communities that had once provided support withdraw in order to protect themselves. What actions, strategies, and forms of organization best equip people to survive repression? How can those on the outside provide effective solidarity?

need: gershenfeld something else law et al

Collaboration: Some social movements or radical projects choose to participate in or accommodate themselves to aspects of the present system in order to overcome isolation, be accessible to a greater range of people, or avoid repression. What are the advantages and pitfalls of this approach? Are there ways to overcome isolation or avoid repression without it?

there are today.. but requires a global leap.. for (blank)’s sake

costello screen\service law et al

Temporary gain: Many of the examples in this book no longer exist. Of course, anarchists are not trying to create permanent institutions that take on lives of their own; specific organizations should come to an end when they are no longer helpful. Realizing that, how can we make the most of bubbles of autonomy while they last, and how can they continue to inform us after they have ceased to be? How can a series of temporary spaces and events be linked to create a continuity of struggle and community?


1 – human nature

Anarchism challenges the typical Western conception of human nature by envisioning societies built on cooperation, mutual aid, and solidarity between people, rather than competition and survival of the fittest.

Aren’t people naturally selfish?

Everybody has a sense of self-interest, and the capability to act in a selfish way at other people’s expense. But everyone also has a sense of the needs of those around them, and we are all capable of generous and selfless actions. Human survival depends on generosity. The next time someone tells you a communal, anarchistic society could not work because people are naturally selfish, tell him he should withhold food from his children pending payment, do nothing to help his parents have a dignified retirement, never donate to charities, and never help his neighbors or be kind to strangers unless he receives compensation. Would he be able to lead a fulfilling existence, taking the capitalist philosophy to its logical conclusions? Of course not.

One economy developed over and over by humans on every continent has been the gift economy. In this system, if people have more than they need of anything, they give it away. They don’t assign value, they don’t count debts. Everything you don’t use personally can be given as a gift to someone else, and by giving more gifts you inspire more generosity and strengthen the friendships that keep you swimming in gifts too. Many gift economies lasted for thousands of years, and proved much more effective at enabling all of the participants to meet their needs. Capitalism may have drastically increased productivity, but to what end? On one side of your typical capitalist city someone is starving to death while on the other side someone is eating caviar.

if only that’s how we saw gift\ness


In a number of towns and cities, anarchists hold Really Really Free Markets — essentially, flea markets without prices. People bring goods they have made or things they don’t need anymore and give them away for free to passersby or other participants. Or, they share useful skills with one another. In one free market in North Carolina, every month:

two hundred or more people from all walks of life gather at the commons in the center of our town. They bring everything from jewelry to firewood to give away, and take whatever they want. There are booths offering bicycle repair, hairstyling, even tarot readings. People leave with full-size bed frames and old computers; if they don’t have a vehicle to transport them, volunteer drivers are available. No money changes hands, no one haggles over the comparative worth of items or services, nobody is ashamed about being in need. Contrary to government ordinances, no fee is paid for the use of this public space, nor is anyone “in charge.” Sometimes a marching band appears; sometimes a puppetry troupe performs, or people line up to take a swing at a piñata. Games and conversations take place around the periphery, and everyone has a plate of warm food and a bag of free groceries.

perhaps let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence w/ubi as temp placebo.. where legit needs are met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring


In one monumental study, War Before Civilization, Lawrence Keeley showed that of an extensive sample of stateless societies, a large number had engaged in aggressive warfare, and a great majority had engaged at the very least in defensive warfare. Only a tiny minority had never encountered war, and a few fled their homelands to avoid war. Keeley was endeavoring to show that people are warlike, even though his results demonstrated that people could choose from a wide range of behaviors including being warlike, avoiding war but still defending against aggression, not knowing war at all, and disliking war so much they would flee their homeland rather than fight. Contrary to his title, Keeley was documenting war after civilization, not “before.” ..t

even deeper.. all data to date is after civilization (aka: sea world ness)


What is the factor that allows societies to avoid domination and coercive authority? A study by Christopher Boehm, surveying dozens of egalitarian societies on all continents, including peoples who lived as foragers, horticulturalists, agriculturalists, and pastoralists, found that the common factor is a conscious desire to remain egalitarian: an anti-authoritarian culture. “The primary and most immediate cause of egalitarian behavior is a moralistic determination on the part of a local group’s main political actors that no one of its members should be allowed to dominate the others.”..Rather than culture being determined by material conditions, it seems that culture shapes the social structures that reproduce a people’s material conditions.

yeah.. so deeper.. sans any form of m\a\p

gershenfeld something else law et al


Their oral cultures are more decentralized and flexible than nearby literate cultures, in which reliance on the written word encourages orthodoxy and gives extra power to those with the resources to keep records..t

lit & num as colonialism et al

need ie: self-talk as data; idiosyncratic jargon; .. via tech w/o judgment; tech as it could be

The Hill People have an interesting relationship with the surrounding states. The people of the valleys view them as “living ancestors,” even though they have formed as a response to the valley civilizations. They are post-state, not pre-state, but the ideology of the state refuses to recognize such a category as “post-state” because the state supposes itself to be the pinnacle of progress. Subjects of the valley civilizations frequently “headed for the hills” to live more freely; however the narratives and mythologies of the Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, and other authoritarian civilizations in the centuries leading up to World War II seemed to be designed to prevent their members from “going back” to those they perceived as barbarians. According to some scholars, the Great Wall of China was built as much to keep the Chinese in as the barbarians out; yet in the valley civilizations of China and Southeast Asia, myths, language, and rituals that might explain such cultural defections were suspiciously lacking. Culture was used as another Great Wall to hold these fragile civilizations together. No wonder the “barbarians” gave up written language in favor of a more decentralized oral culture: without written records and a specialized class of scribes, history became common property, rather than a tool for indoctrination.

history ness et al..


Capitalism may be capable of feats of production and distribution that have never been possible before, but at the same time this society is tragically unable to keep everyone fed and healthy, and has never existed without gross inequalities, oppression, and environmental devastation. One might argue that members of our society are socially stunted, if not outright primitive, when it comes to being able to cooperate and organize ourselves without authoritarian control.

Western civilization *devotes an immense amount of resources to social control, policing, and cultural production reinforcing capitalist values. The Western idea of human nature functions as a part of this social control, discouraging rebellion against authority. **We are taught from childhood that without authority human life would descend into chaos..t

*any form of m\a\p

**carhart-harris entropy law et al


rec read: graeber and black

fragments of an anarchist anthropology, abolition of work


2 – decisions

Anarchy is the absence of rulers. Free people do not follow orders; they *make their own decisions and come to agreements within their communities, and develop shared means for putting these decisions into practice..t

rather.. free people *listen to curiosity (over decision making).. decision making is unmooring us..

There should be no doubt that human beings can make decisions in non-hierarchical, egalitarian ways. *The majority of human societies have been stateless, and many stateless societies have not been governed by the dictates of some “Big Man,” but by common assemblies using some form of consensus. Numerous consensus-based societies have survived thousands of years, even through European colonialism into the present day, in Africa, Australia, Asia, the Americas, and on the peripheries of Europe.

Groups of friends typically use *informal consensus to decide how to spend time together, organize activities, assist one another, and respond to challenges in their daily lives. 

*this is like your.. not pre but post civilization ness.. am thinking legit free people would go with curiosity over decision making to allow for in a space ness


In these stateless areas of the Spanish countryside in 1936, peasants organized themselves according to principles of communism, collectivism, or mutualism according to their preferences and local conditions. They formed thousands of collectives, especially in Aragon, Catalunya, and Valencia. Some abolished all money and private property; some organized quota systems to ensure that everyone’s needs were met. The diversity of forms they developed is a testament to the freedom they created themselves. Where once all these villages were mired in the same stifling context of feudalism and developing capitalism, within months of overthrowing government authority and coming together in village assemblies, they gave birth to hundreds of different systems, united by common values like solidarity and self-organization. **And they developed these different forms by holding open assemblies and making decisions about their future in common.

*post.. so not org’d around legit needs

**oi .. diff forms of post ness (aka: of whales)

The town of Magdalena de Pulpis, for example, abolished money completely. One inhabitant reported, “Everyone works and everyone has the right to what he needs free of charge. He simply goes to the store where provisions and all other necessities are supplied. Everything is distributed free with only a notation of what he took.” Recording what everyone took allowed the community to distribute resources equally in times of scarcity, and generally ensured accountability.

has to be sans any form of m\a\p


All the collectives, once they had taken control of their villages, organized open mass assemblies to discuss problems and plan how to organize themselves. Decisions were made via voting or consensus. Village assemblies generally met between once a week and once a month; foreign observers surveying them remarked that participation was broad and enthusiastic. Many of the collectivized villages joined with other collectives in order to pool resources, aid one another, and arrange trade. The collectives in Aragon donated hundreds of tons of food to the volunteer militias who were holding back the fascists on the front, and also took in large numbers of refugees who had fled the fascists. The town of Graus, for example, with a population of 2,600, took in and supported 224 refugees, only 20 of whom could work.

oi.. post sea world ness.. time/energy sucks.. not broad/enthusiastic enough.. to to listen to itch-in-the-soul 1st thing everyday for that


They would go through a base-building period of two months, in which they would hold meetings and debates to try to build a sense of community, affinity, and political common ground. 

By any measure their accomplishment is a triumph for direct action: by disregarding legality or petitioning the powerful for change, over a million people have won themselves land and control over their lives by going out and doing it themselves. 

oi.. direct action.. any form of democratic admin.. killing us


According to an MST member who worked for several years in one of the most dangerous regions of Brazil, *two months was simply not enough time in most cases to overcome people’s anti-social training and create a real sense of community,.. t but it was much better than the prevalent pattern in the subsequent period.

rather *too long.. as in backwards.. with curiosity over decision making.. have means to leap

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people


Next, the participants create an agenda in which they list all the topics they want to talk about. For each topic, they start by sharing information. If a decision needs to be made, they talk it over until they find a point where *everyone’s needs and desires converge. Someone states a proposal that synthesizes everyone’s input, and they vote on it: approve, abstain, or block. If one person is opposed, the group looks for another solution.The decisions may not always be everyone’s first choice, but everyone must **feel comfortable with every decision the group adopts. Throughout this process, the facilitator encourages full participation from everyone and makes sure no one is silenced.

*oi.. public consensus always oppresses someone(s).. have it all backwards.. curiosity over decision making et al

**voluntary compliance ness.. oi

Sometimes, the group is unable to solve a particular problem, but the option of not coming to any decision demonstrates that within consensus, *the health of the group is more important than efficiency.

oi.. decision making is unmooring us.. not *health .. rather cancer

*Consensus precludes the need for enforcement and punishment by making sure that everyone is satisfied beforehand. When we take into account all the work hours a community loses maintaining a police force, which is a **huge drain on resources, ***the hours spent in consensus meetings seem like a good usage of time after all.

oi.. *public consensus always oppresses someone(s).. seat at the table ness et al.. so still need for some time of enforcement/cope\ing ness et al

**what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people.. so need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be

***not.. today we have means to undo all this supposed nonhierarchical hierarchical listening


Time and again, spontaneous popular assemblies such as the one created in Oaxaca have proved capable of making sound decisions and coordinating the activities of an *entire population. .

rather *entire pop of whales.. we have no idea what legit free people are like.. am thinking all the things we think we have to decide about.. have meetings about.. would be irrelevant s/distractions/cancerous.. to legit free people..


For example, the people in a neighborhood may decide that each different household will take turns cleaning the street. If one household fails to uphold this decision, everybody else on the block has the ability to ask them to fulfill their responsibility. ..if the negligent household has no excuse, and not only do they never clean the streets, they throw their trash in it, their neighbors might hold a general meeting demanding a change in their behavior, or they might take some action like piling all the trash in front of their door. Meanwhile, in their day-to-day interactions individual neighbors might share their criticisms with members of the offending household, or ridicule them, not invite them to joint activities, or glare at them in the streets.

oi.. irrelevant s .. decision making is unmooring us law et al


This method is much more flexible, and more liberating, than legalitarian, coercive approaches. .. It also allows transgressors the opportunity to convince others that their actions were justified, thus providing constant challenges to the dominant morality.

In a horizontal society, people enforce decisions according to how enthusiastic they are about those decisions. .. calling out the housemate who does not do dishes or the community that does not contribute to road maintenance. It’s a difficult process, often lacking in many current anarchist projects, but without it group decision-making is a façade and responsibility is vague and unequally shared. Going through this process, people become more empowered and more connected with those around them.

Groups always contain the possibility for conformity and conflict. Authoritarian groups typically avoid conflict by enforcing greater levels of conformity. Pressures to conform also exist in anarchist groups, but without restrictions on human movement, it is easier for people to leave and join other groups or to act or live on their own. Thus, people can choose the levels of conformity and conflict they want to tolerate, and in the process of finding and leaving groups, people change and challenge social norms.

oi.. time/energy sucks: methods, justifying ness, challenging dominance.. et al.. any form of m\a\p.. need: curiosity over decision making


No one in the kibbutz had coercive authority. .. Public opinion was the most important factor ensuring social cohesion.. In any case, expulsion was not common in the kibbutzim, because public opinion and group discussion were sufficient to solve most conflicts.

oi.. that is coercive authority.. structural violence.. maté trump law.. via any form of m\a\p

Another vital lesson of the kibbutzim is that building utopian collectives must involve tireless struggle against contemporary authoritarian structures, or they will become part of those structures..t

not if we org around legit/deeper needs that 8bn souls crave

why we need to leap.. for (blank)’s sake.. gershenfeld something else law et al sans takes a lot of work ness..


it of hopi using shame and mocking.. There is a world of possibilities more interesting than general assemblies or mediation processes! Artistic conflict resolution encourages new ways of looking at problems, and subverts the possibility of permanent mediators or meeting facilitators gaining power by monopolizing the role of arbiter.

oi.. rather.. and than conflict res.. any form of m\a\p


The hypothesis of authoritarian society, that a large, diverse population needs specialized institutions to control decision-making, can be disproven many times over. 

wrong/cancerous focus.. ie: (in next sents) brazil.. no one groks legit needs; oaxaca.. resistance as irrelevants..

For most of human history, our societies have been egalitarian and self-organizing, and we have not lost the capability to make and uphold the decisions that affect our lives, or to imagine new and better forms of organizing

oi.. whalespeak

Alternately, if a group develops a decision-making method that is totally original and alien to their society, they may face challenges including newcomers and explaining their method to outsiders — this is sometimes a weakness of infoshops in the US, which employ a well thought-out, idealized form of decision-making complex enough to seem foreign even to many participants.

needing train as red flags


But if there are multiple decision-making structures for different spheres of life, and if they can arise or fade out according to need, none of them can monopolize authority. In this regard, power needs to stay in the streets, in the homes, in the hands of the people who exercise it, in the meeting of people who come together to solve problems.

still time/energy sucks.. need deeper.. ie: curiosity over decision making

rec read: peter’s consensus: a new handbook for grassroots social political and environmental groups

can’t find anywhere


3 – economy

All these models are based on the principles of working together to fulfill common needs and rejecting hierarchy of all kinds 

always hier archy ness if org-ing around non legit needs

need1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be so we can get back/to an undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b legit free people


A similarly organized commune in a world without capitalism would not face these same problems

actually it would.. eventually.. if any form of m\a\p then same song

In Barcelona, for example, as recently as 2008 there were over forty occupied social centers and at least two hundred squatted houses.. For example the author of this book, who has lived within this network for two years, has survived for much of that time on less than one euro a day. 


They provide for many of their collective needs besides housing. Some social centers host bicycle repair workshops, enabling people to repair or build their own bicycles, using old parts. Others offer carpentry workshops, self-defense and yoga workshops, natural healing workshops, libraries, gardens, communal meals, art and theater groups, language classes, alternative media and counterinformation, music shows, movies, computer labs where people can use the internet and learn email security or host their own websites, and solidarity events to deal with the inevitable repression. Nearly all of these services are provided absolutely free. There is no exchange — one group organizes to provide a service to everyone, and the entire social network benefits.

sounds like city sketchup ness et al

With an astounding amount of initiative in such a passive society, squatters regularly get the idea to organize a communal meal or a bicycle repair shop or a weekly movie showing, *they talk with friends and friends of friends until they have enough people and resources to make their idea a reality,..t and then they spread the word or put up posters and hope as many people as possible will come and partake. To a capitalist mentality, they are avidly inviting people to rob them, but the squatters never stop to question activities that don’t put money in their pockets. It is evident that they have created a new form of wealth, and sharing what they make themselves clearly makes them richer.

*huge ie’s but imagine deeper

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be

The surrounding neighborhoods also become richer, as the squatters take the initiative to create projects much quicker than the local government could.

actually have means for a global leap

The result is that in cities such as Barcelona, people can spend the majority of their time and meet the majority of their needs — from housing to entertainment — within this squatters’ social network, without labor and almost without money. Of course not everything can be stolen (not yet), and the squatters are still compelled to sell their labor to pay for things like medical care and court costs. But for many people the exceptional nature of those things that cannot be self-produced, scavenged, or stolen, the outrage of having to sell valuable moments of one’s life to work for some corporation, can have the effect of increasing the level of conflict with capitalism.

barcelona ness.. and perhaps let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence w/ubi as temp placebo.. where legit needs are met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring

One potential pitfall of any movement powerful enough to create an alternative to capitalism is that its participants can easily become complacent living in their bubble of autonomy and lose the will to fight for the total abolition of capitalism. Squatting itself can easily become a ritual, and in Barcelona the movement as a whole has not applied the same creativity to resistance and attack as it has to many of the practical aspects of fixing up houses and finding subsistence with little or no money. The self-sustaining nature of the network of squatters, the immediate presence of freedom, initiative, pleasure, independence, and community in their lives have by no means destroyed capitalism, but they do reveal it to be a walking corpse, with nothing but the police, in the end, preventing it for going extinct and being replaced by far superior forms of living.


Hundreds of factories abandoned by their owners were occupied by workers, who resumed production so they could continue to feed their families. The more radical of these worker-occupied factories equalized wages and shared managerial duties among all workers. They made decisions in open meetings, and some workers taught themselves tasks such as accounting. To ensure that a new managerial class did not arise, some factories rotated managerial tasks, or required that people in managerial roles still work on the factory floor and perform the accounting, marketing, and other tasks after hours.

great opp.. taken over by whalespeak

One of the most famous, the Zanon ceramics factory located in southern Argentina, was shut down by the owner in 2001 and occupied by its workers the following January. They began running the factory with an open assembly and commissions made up of workers to manage Sales, Administration, Planning, Security, Hygiene and Sanitation, Purchasing, Production, Diffusion, and Press.

again.. irrelevant s/whalespeaks


In July 2001, the workers of the El Tigre supermarket in Rosario, Argentina, occupied their workplace. The owner had shut it down two months earlier and declared bankruptcy, still owing his employees months in wages. After fruitless protesting, the workers opened El Tigre and began running it themselves through an assembly that allowed all workers a part in decision-making. In a spirit of solidarity they lowered prices and began selling fruit and vegetables from a local farmers’ cooperative and products made in other occupied factories. They also used part of their space to open a cultural center for the neighborhood, housing political talks, student groups, theater and yoga workshops, puppet shows, a café, and a library. In 2003, El Tigre’s cultural center held the national meeting of reclaimed businesses, attended by 1,500 people. Maria, one collective member, said of her experience: “Three years ago, if someone had told me we’d be able to run this place I’d never have believed them… I believed we needed bosses to tell us what to do, now I realize that together we can do it better than them.”


Gore Associates, based in Delaware, is the billion dollar high-tech firm that produces waterproof Gore-Tex fabric, special insulation for computer cables, and parts for the medical, automobile, and semiconductor industries. 

An important factor in their success is adherence to what some academics call the Rule of 150.

Skeptics often dismiss the anarchistic example of small-scale “primitive” societies by arguing that it’s no longer possible to organize on such a small scale, given the huge population. But there is nothing to stop a large society for organizing itself in many smaller units. Small-scale organization is eminently possible..t

actually global ginormous/small scale if we org around legit needs


During the rebellion in Oaxaca in 2006, people without prior experience organized themselves to run occupied radio and television stations. They were motivated by the social need for free means of communication

no train


In the richest country in the world, millions have no access to healthcare, including this author, and every year hundreds of thousands of people die from preventable or treatable causes. (also talked trash – dirty jobs and living with elderly rather than rest homes)


Education has long been a priority of anarchist and other revolutionary movements around the world

need it to not be a priority.. otherwise we keep falling back into people telling other people what to do mode.. need to just trust us


Most of this, people teach themselves, or learn among friends and peers — that is to say, the school of life is already anarchistic.

In response, a number of anarchist theorists set out to *design non-hierarchical schools in which teachers would serve as aides helping the students learn and explore their **chosen subjects

*contradictory.. because **spinach or rock ness et al


the MST claims to have taught over 50,000 landless workers how to read

read ness et al.. (not trust if think need to teach it)

even enabling them to design their own courses. 

oi.. still ie of people telling other people what to do .. package deal ness et al


They emphasize in all these forms of education that it is the responsibility of the students to use what they learn for their community and not for individual profit.

oi.. responsibility ness as people telling other people what to do.. red flags ness

people are taught how to teach

oi oi oi


The demands of freedom confront us with a much heavier choice than simply changing our decision-making structures. We will have to physically disassemble much of the world we live in and build it anew.. t Freedom, as well as the ecological balance of the planet and thus our very survival, is incompatible with nuclear energy, reliance on fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and a car culture which estranges public space and fosters a system of exchange where most goods are not produced locally.

rather.. hari rat park law et al

This transformation will require a great deal of inventiveness.. t; thus the relevant question becomes, will an anarchist social movement and society be inventive enough to carry out this transformation? I think the answer is yes. After all, the most useful tools in human history were invented before government and capitalism came about.

ie: tech as it could be (to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature)

Capitalist competition dictates that every few years all the old gadgets become obsolete as new ones are invented, so people have to throw the old ones away and buy new ones — at great detriment to the environment. Because of this “planned obsolescence,” few inventions tend to be well made or fully thought-out in the first place, since they’re destined for the trash from the beginning.

perhaps let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence w/ubi as temp placebo.. where legit needs are met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring


heading: how will exchange work

question as distraction/cancer.. because frames thinking in terms of whalespeak (like all rest of headings – ie: what about ed; who will take out trash; et al)


Rather than giving up, remaining members developed a number of solutions to the problems they had encountered, such as limiting membership to producers so the network is only used by those who contribute to it.

red flag

Contemporary anarchists in the US and Europe are experimenting with other forms of distribution that transcend exchange. One popular anarchist project is the “free store” or “give-away shop.” Free stores serve as a collection point for donated or scavenged items that people no longer need, including clothes, food, furniture, books, music, even the occasional refrigerator, television, or car. Patrons are free to browse through the store and take whatever they need. Many accustomed to a capitalist economy who come into a free store are perplexed by how it could possibly work. Having been raised with a scarcity mentality, they assume that since people profit by taking stuff and do not profit by donating, a free store would quickly empty out. However this is rarely the case. Countless free stores operate sustainably, and most are overflowing with goods. From Harrisonburg, Virginia, to Barcelona, Catalunya, hundreds of free stores defy capitalist logic on a daily basis. The Weggeefwinkel, Giveaway Shop, in Groningen, Netherlands, has operated out of squatted buildings for over three years, opening twice a week to give away free clothes, books, furniture, and other items. Other free stores hold fundraisers if they have to pay rent, which would not be an issue in a completely anarchist society. Free stores are an important resource for impoverished people, who either are denied a job by the whims of the free market or who work a job, or two or three, and still can’t afford clothes for their kids.

A more high-tech example of free exchange is the relatively mainstream and wildly successful Freecycle Network. Freecycle is a global network originally formed by an environmental nonprofit group to promote giving away items that might otherwise end up in the trash. As of this writing they have over 4 million members grouped into 4200 local chapters, spread through 50 countries. Using a website to post items wanted or items available to give away, people have circulated prodigious quantities of clothing, furniture, toys, artwork, tools, bicycles, cars, and countless other goods. One of the rules of Freecycle is that everything has to be free, neither bartered nor sold. Freecycle is not a centrally controlled organization; local chapters set themselves up based on the common model, and use the website on which the model is based.

do this


There are a number of methods that could prevent institutions such as labor banks from facilitating the return of capitalism, though unfortunately the onslaught of totalitarianism from both the fascists and Communists deprived Spanish anarchists of the chance to develop them. These might include rotating and mixing tasks to prevent the emergence of a new managing class, developing fragmented structures that cannot be controlled at a central or national level, promoting as much decentralization and simplicity as possible, and maintaining a firm tradition that common resources and instruments of social wealth are never for sale.

But as long as money is a central fact of human existence, myriad human activities are reduced to quantitative values and value can be massed as power, and thus alienated from the activity that created it: in other words, it can become capital. Naturally anarchists do not agree on how to strike a balance between practicality and perfection, or how deep to cut in order to root out capitalism, but studying all the possibilities, including those that might be doomed to failure or worse, can only help.


Many people will probably return to the land as industrial agriculture decreases or ceases, to be replaced by sustainable agriculture — or “permaculture” — which can support a higher population density in rural areas.

permaculture ness

In such a period, it might be necessary to make new social arrangements in a hurry, but it won’t be the first time anarchists have made a town or city from scratch.

today we have the means for a global leap.. if we listen deep enough to org around legit needs


Meeting our needs without keeping count.. t

will never meet/hear/grok legit needs as long as we keep count.. any form of m\a\p

Capitalism has produced some amazing gadgets, but the military and the police are almost always the first to use new technologies, and often the wealthiest people are the only ones who benefit from them. Capitalism has produced undreamed of wealth, but it is hoarded by parasites who did not produce it and who lord over the slaves and wage laborers who created it. Competition may seem to be a useful principle for encouraging efficiency — but efficiency for what purpose? Beneath the mythology it has created, capitalism is not actually a competitive system. Workers are divided and played against each other, while the elite cooperate to maintain their subjection. 

efficiency {glossary} ness


Capitalism has failed horribly at meeting people’s needs and arranging a fair distribution of goods. Throughout the world, millions die from treatable diseases because they cannot afford the medicine that would save them, and people starve to death while their countries export cash crops. Under capitalism, everything is for sale — culture is a commodity that can be manipulated to sell lingerie or skin cream, nature is a resource to be sucked dry and destroyed for profit. People must sell their time and energy to the owning class in order to buy back a fraction of what they produce. This is a deeply rooted system that shapes our values and relationships and defies most attempts to abolish it.

not about ‘arranging distribution of goods’.. it’s about grokking the center of problem law.. ie: problem deep enough.. about legit needs


On one hand, people and their desires are taken out of the equation, while on the other hand all values — pleasure, usefulness, inspiration — are absorbed into a quantitative value, and money itself becomes a symbol for all these other values.

again.. perhaps let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence w/ubi as temp placebo.. where legit needs are met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring.. graeber violence/quantification law et al.. money\less ness.. wilson money law.. et al

But it is a worthwhile challenge to do away with exchange and currency altogether. 

yeah that.. marsh exchange law et al.. graeber exchange law et al.. wilson money law

The world is bountiful *enough to provide for everyone’s needs. Scarcity is a dangerous illusion that functions as a self-fulfilling prophesy. Once people stop giving and begin **hoarding, collective wealth declines. If we overcome the fear of scarcity, scarcity itself disappears.

*enough ness et al

**testart storage law et al


rec reading: kropotkin.. fields.. mauss.. gift

fields factories and workshops.. gift\ness..


4. Environment

Some people oppose capitalism on environmental grounds, but think some sort of state is necessary to prevent ecocide. But the state is itself a tool for the exploitation of nature.

rec reading: bookchin.. ecology of freedom

ecology of freedom


5. Crime

Prison is the institution that most concretely symbolizes domination. Anarchists wish to create a society that can protect itself and resolve internal problems without police, judges, or prisons; a society that does not view its problems in terms of good and evil, permitted and prohibited, law-abiders and criminals.

incarceration ness et al.. hari rat park law via gershenfeld something else law et al

Historically, police did not develop out of a social necessity to protect people from rising crime. In the United States, modern police forces arose at a time when crime was already diminishing. Rather, the institution of police emerged as a means to give the ruling class greater control over the population and expand the state’s monopoly on the resolution of social conflict. This was not a response to crime or an attempt to solve it; on the contrary, it coincided with the creation of new forms of crime.

structural violence et al


The police and prisons are systems of control that preserve social inequalities, spread fear and resentment, exclude and alienate whole communities, and exercise extreme violence against the most oppressed sectors of society.

any form of m\a\p as police ness (as structural violence).. police ness as people telling other people what to do et al

In an *empowered society, people do not need written laws; they have the power to **determine whether someone is preventing them from fulfilling their needs, and can call on their peers for help resolving conflicts.

need first/most.. a legit *free society.. nothing to do with power.. then ie: **’determine whether someone is preventing from fulfilling needs’.. if we org around legit needs.. the dance dances w/o determining ness.. rendering the determining ness et al.. irrelevant s/distractions/cancers

left off 91


This context of solidarity, free food, and empowerment of the common person played a role in drying up crime at its source.

gershenfeld something else law et al

but source is even deeper than food and empowerment.. need to org around legit needs

Marginalized people gained opportunities for community involvement, decision-making, and social inclusion that were denied to them by the capitalist regime.

yeah see.. this is what creates/perpetuates myth of tragedy and lord ness (aka: whalespeak as part of the cancer).. ie: dave’s campfire analogy; decision making is unmooring us law; brown belonging law; et al


Different people had *different ideas on what **long-term solutions to institute, and as the rebellion in Oaxaca was politically very diverse, ***not all these ideas were revolutionary; some people wanted to hand robbers or assaulters over to the courts, though it was widely believed that the government released all law-breakers and encouraged them to go back and commit more anti-social crimes.

*what we found in our initial questioning.. leading to short findings restate.. have to listen/go deep enough to find something everyone resonates with.. something that is the same idea for everyone

**ie: maté basic needs via 2 conversations as infra

***rather.. none have been to date


*Currently, the media is waging a campaign of fear, increasing coverage of antisocial crime and trying to conflate these crimes with the presence of autonomous areas. Crime is a tool of the state, used to scare people, isolate people, and make government seem necessary. But government is nothing but a protection racket. The state is a mafia that has won control over society, and the law is the codification of everything they have stolen from us.

*currently? or always? structural violence et al.. graeber man with stick law et al

The Rotuman are a traditionally stateless people who live on the island of Rotuma in the South Pacific, north of Fiji. According to anthropologist Alan Howard, members of this sedentary society are *socialized not to be violent. Cultural norms promote respectful and gentle behavior towards children. Physical punishment is extremely rare, and almost never intended to actually hurt the misbehaving child. Instead, **Rotuman adults use shame instead of punishment, a strategy that raises children with a high degree of social sensitivity. ***Adults will especially shame children who act like bullies, and in their own conflicts adults try very hard not to make others angry. From Howard’s perspective as an outsider from the more authoritarian West, children are given “an ****astonishing degree of autonomy” and the principle of personal autonomy extends throughout the society: “

*yeah.. not.. any form of m\a\p still ie of violence.. ie: *shame as violence.. oi.. ***what a phrase.. ha.. shame = bullying.. oi.. ****not astonishing.. astonishing that we think that has any autonomy/freedom.. we have no idea what legit free people are like

Members maintain their standing and status in the group by being accountable, being sensitive to group opinion, and resolving conflicts.

oi.. total whalespeak.. huge red flags we’re doing it/life wrong.. perpetuate/ing myth of tragedy and lord ness


The prisoners won their first demand: the prison superintendent was forced to resign. Quickly they won additional demands for expanded visiting rights, furlough, self-organized programs, review and release of those in segregation, and civilian observers inside the prison. In exchange, they cleaned up the prison, and brought what the guards never had: peace.

oh my.. resonations to 22.. downsize ness to peace..?

In protest of their loss of control, the guards walked off the job. They thought this act would prove how necessary they were, but embarrassingly for them, it had the exact opposite effect. For two months, the prisoners ran the prison themselves. For much of that time, the guards were not present within the cell blocks, though state police controlled the prison perimeter to prevent escapes. Civilian observers were inside the prison twenty-four hours a day, but they were trained not to intervene; their role was to document the situation, talk with prisoners, and prevent violence from guards who sometimes entered the prison. One observer recounted:

The atmosphere was so relaxed — not at all what I expected. I find that my own thinking has been so conditioned by society and the media. These men are not animals, they are not dangerous maniacs. I found my own fears were really groundless.

bird uncaged.. khan filling the gaps law et al (gb)


Some fear that in a society without authorities, the strongest people *would run amok, taking and doing whatever they wanted. Never mind that this describes what generally goes on in societies with government! This fear derives from the statist myth that we are all **isolated.

*myth of tragedy and lord..

**thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman ..

gershenfeld something else law et al

left off 95